Based in Northern Ireland, we build and manage cost-effective websites for sole traders and small business in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.
In 2001 Caffeine co-founder, Steve, owned a retail business and wanted to take it online, budgets were tight, so he set about learning to do it himself.
Over the next ten years, Steve learnt how to leverage the most out of the internet while sticking to tight budgets.
Around 2011, other businesses, impressed by what Steve was achieving online with tiny budgets compared to the big players, started to ask for help with their online footprints.
2013, and the requests for help were growing, so enlisting the help of others Caffeine Injection was born.
The client base and portfolio of services grew rapidly, so in 2016, Steve closed his own retail business to focus solely on Caffeine Injection.
Since then, Caffeine Injection has become regarded as one of the few website developers with rare "real-world" experience of online business.
At Caffeine Injection, we don't have a large team of full-time staffers. There is only one person on the permanent payroll (Steve); the rest are dedicated regular freelancers who are bought onboard as projects demand.
This means your money isn't going to pay for expensive offices or flash car it's going directly into the pockets of those who are working for you, making our websites uniquely affordable while being as effective as those costing much more.
Steve is the driving force behind Caffeine Injection. He deals with client liaison and initial design & development. Steve brings a wealth of real-world experience to the table and understands implicitly how a website needs to look and feel to be successful.
Mike is the lead developer, responsible for turning Steve's visions into a reality. Mike has decades of developer experience laced with a tremendous real-world understanding of how websites should work.
Andy operates the support service, responding to incoming tickets and fixing stuff in double-quick time. Like most support staff he knows his stuff inside and out and is a total Star Wars loving geek/nerd.
Richard and his team at Network IT is our server and technical support partners, keeping the whole show on the road.
Our team is spread over Europe, but the HQ is just outside Ballynahinch, County Down in Northern Ireland, in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains, a rugged and no-nonsense landscape.
We believe this reflects in our work. We are a down to earth no-nonsense agency, who don't "BS" and get on doing the job at hand without any fuss.
Like most agencies nowadays, we rarely hand-code our sites. In this day and age hand-coding a website is a bit like performing advanced maths without a calculator: You can do it, but why would you?
Instead, we use frameworks, generally based off Foundation or Bootstrap, and more recently UIkit.
We don't do Wordpress! We know millions do, but we're not fans.
From the developer's point of view, Wordpress is cool, as it's super-fast, pretty simple and free! But, it's also just about the most hacked platform on the planet and so a bitch to maintain.
As there are millions of websites using WordPress, they are an obvious target for computer hackers. If a hacker can find a vulnerability in one system, this likely exists on many of the others. Furthermore, as robots (computers that trawl the Internet for a variety of reasons) can determine whether a site is made by WordPress or not; once a vulnerability has been found it can be automatically exploited on every similar website found. Once a website has been hacked, it can be exceptionally difficult to fix.
While it’s true that Wordpress regularly release updates to fix all the security holes, the trouble is with an average of more than one patch a month it can be time-consuming to keep your web site secure. The updates will need to be done by someone technical, which means clients inevitably end up paying for this extra work in the long run.
Plugins are, in essence, a fantastic idea. Each plugin is an extension to WordPress written by a third-party developer. They each add functionality to WordPress that is not in the original system. Unfortunately, as there are so many plugins, written by so many people, many have their own security vulnerabilities and issues. Many plugins are written by hobbyists to do something for their own site, they release the code for free and then forget about it.
This leads nicely to support; as WordPress is open-source, it is free and developed by the ‘community’. This is a good idea and allows such software as WordPress to remain free. However, it does cause an issue with support.
As there is no official development team, and as the client has never paid anyone for the software, there is no phone number to call and no guaranteed way of getting a response. Therefore if a client’s website breaks, perhaps after an update, any errors can be hard to diagnose. The usual process is to use Google to search various support forums, and if no one else has had the same issue, post a ticket to a forum, and hope that someone can help you fix your issue. Even then a client, or web developer, is only likely to receive a pointer in the right direction and will need to do a fair bit of work themselves. This can be difficult for a professional web developer and can prove almost impossible for many web designers who only know how to install and use WordPress.
The thousands of plugins available can do a variety of different tasks, but the time will come when the plugins will not do either what a client wants, or in the way that they want it done. When this happens, you’ve reached the end of WordPress’ capabilities.
There are lots of SEO plugins for WordPress, and by picking and choosing the correct ones, you can achieve a certain level of optimisation. However, you never have the fine control that you get with a custom website, and therefore, full search engine optimisation is not possible.
The speed of a website affects the SEO as well as the general user experience. As WordPress caters for many different styles of websites and has lots of features that are often unused, the code is very ‘bloated’. This means your server is processing a lot more code than it needs to which means each page is slower and you will reach the limits of your server much quicker.
Errors in websites need not be critical; have you ever seen a website that looks different in Internet Explorer to Firefox, or looks obscured on a mobile phone? Well, this is common across many websites, in particular ones created using software such as WordPress.
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